Security Alert: Lock Bumping

The local news did a story on luck bumping, and I found it so alarming I thought I’d find out more and pass it along…

Chances are, your home’s front door is vulnerable to a crime that can be accomplished by a novice: lock-bumping.

With a specially cut “bump key” and the well-timed whack of a hammer, someone can surreptitiously enter your home and leave no obvious sign of a break-in.

Check out this video where a guy tells you how to make and use a bump key.  Videos like this are a dime a dozen on the internet, and so are ready-to-use bump keys.  The bad news about  the internet rears it’s ugly head…

The bump key, used legitimately by locksmiths for decades, is designed to momentarily force upward the internal pins that secure the lock, freeing the lock to turn just as if the correct key were used. For as little as $3, a bump key can now be ordered online from numerous Web sites offering what is really nothing more than a burglary tool.

The growing online lock-bumping phenomenon has made such an impact that some top lock manufacturers have dedicated sections of their Web sites to the topic. They tout their most sophisticated (and often more expensive, of course) locks as “bump-resistant.”

“A motivated individual with some time and very little skill can learn to ‘bump’ open most conventional locks with relative ease,” one lock manufacturer’s Web site warns.

Using the bump key requires a little finesse, and burglars often don’t want to take the time to do that.  Ergo it is still far more common, police say, for break-ins to occur through a rear sliding-glass door.

Here’s what crime prevention experts recommend for your front door:

• Deadbolts that extend at least an inch when locked.

• A lock with multi-layered locking mechanisms, such as a sidebar that prevents the plug from rotating.

• A burglar alarm.

• A second lock, to make it more time-consuming to bump.

• A slide lock, used while you’re home, to back up your main lock.

Consider consulting a reputable locksmith on whether your existing lock is secure, as it could be retrofitted or upgraded to a brand that has proven effective against lock-bumping.

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One Response to “Security Alert: Lock Bumping”

  1. Money Hacks Carnival #15 - French Open Edition — Broke Grad Student Says:

    […] presents Security Alert: Lock Bumping at Are You Going To Be This Way The Rest of The Time I Know […]


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